Mark Zuckerberg announces Facebook is starting its massive get-out-the-vote drive yet ahead of the hotly contested presidential election with the goal of registering 4 million voters this year.
Sharing to an Op-Ed for USA TODAY, the Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg shares he believes Facebook and its other platforms can play a positive role in the election.
Chief Executive Officer of Facebook Zuckerberg wrote,
The 2020 election is going to be unlike any other. It was already going to be a heated campaign, and that was before the pandemic – and before the killing of George Floyd and so many others forced us yet again to confront the painful reality of systemic racism in America. People want accountability, and in a democracy, the ultimate way we do that is through voting.
The voting information initiative Facebook launched for its social media chain, Instagram, and Messenger will supply information about registering and requesting an absentee or mail-in ballot. The feature will enable to include local election alerts and changes for the voting process from state election officials. The data will be displayed as a top banner with live updates on top of the Facebook & Instagram News Feed through the entire voting.
And yes, there is an option for those whose FB wall displays, "Not interested in Politics" to enable the political news related ads.
The announcement comes amid heightened scrutiny of the role Facebook plays in elections and comes as controversy still swirls over Zuckerberg's decision to leave up a post from President Trump in which Trump called protesters thugs and warned: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." Zuckerberg is standing firm on his commitment to free expression on Facebook but told Facebook employees last week that he is open to some changes in how his company handles that kind of content.
Zuckerberg wrote. "Ultimately, I believe the best way to hold politicians accountable is through voting, and I believe we should trust voters to make (judgments) for themselves".
Mark Zuckerberg also tried to calm growing fears that foreign actors will meddle in the 2020 election the way they did four years ago.
On the near end, the tech head, shared that the threat of election interference is real and ongoing, but our systems are more prepared than ever," he wrote June 16, Tuesday. "This work is never finished, but we've learned a lot and have adapted our systems to protect against interference."
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